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Daniel Defoe

(1660—1731) writer and businessman

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Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire  

Is a small, low‐lying, and predominantly agricultural county, drained largely by the river Ouse. In pre‐Roman times it formed part of the kingdom of the Catuvellauni. In 571 a victory of the English ...
Devon

Devon  

Was the third largest of the old counties. Having two sea‐coasts, it was orientated in different directions, the northern shore along the Bristol channel, the south shore along the English channel. ...
gentry

gentry  

Technically the gentry consists of four separately defined groups, socially inferior only to the ranks of the peerage. The senior rank is that of baronet, a position founded in 1611 by James I giving ...
John Somers, 1st Baron Somers

John Somers, 1st Baron Somers  

(1651–1716).Lawyer and Whig politician. Called to the bar in 1676, Somers made his name as an outstanding barrister. He was elected in 1689 to the Convention Parliament and was ...
Jonathan Wild

Jonathan Wild  

(c. 1682–1725).Thief‐taker and anti‐hero. Trained as a buckle‐maker, imprisonment for debt brought Wild into contact with the underworld, then into handling stolen property. His activities prompted a ...
Kent

Kent  

One of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, probably covering much the same area as the modern county of Kent in SE England. (See also Garden of England at garden.)Man of Kent a native or inhabitant ...
Leicestershire

Leicestershire  

Was one of the most regularly shaped shires, with Leicester itself almost exactly in the middle, on the river Soar. The western boundary with Warwickshire ran along the line of Watling Street, the ...
Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire  

Is the second largest English county but one of the most thinly populated. The greater part of the county is flat but there are three parallel north–south ridges. Lincoln stands at the gap in the ...
Norfolk

Norfolk  

Was the fourth largest of the traditional counties. From Yarmouth in the east to Sutton Bridge in the west is over 70 miles. From Yarmouth round to the Wash is coast, lashed by what Camden called ...
Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire  

Is one of the quieter English counties, less affected by the industrial revolution than its western neighbours. It covered a great swathe of central England: Brackley in the west seems like a ...
pillory

pillory  

Social corrective combining public humiliation and discomfort, occasionally death. The offender's hands and neck were immobilized within a hinged pair of planks attached to an upright post on a ...
Robert Harley

Robert Harley  

(1661–1724),Tory statesman and bibliophile. He frequented the Scriblerus Club, and acquired a great library of books and manuscripts, which his son inherited. See Harleian Mss.
secret ballot

secret ballot  

Was advocated as early as 1656 by James Harrington in Oceana, discussed in pamphlets at the time of the Glorious Revolution, argued by Defoe in 1708, and became a persistent radical demand in the ...
Shropshire

Shropshire  

Is a large and beautiful county. The hilly southern part includes the Wrekin, the Long Mynd, Clee Hill, and Wenlock Edge: the north, adjoining Cheshire, is flatter, with some notable meres. ...
Society for the Reformation of Manners

Society for the Reformation of Manners  

These societies, which sprang up in the 1690s in London and the larger provincial towns, were a mixture of evangelicalism and social control. The church courts were no longer keen to enforce morality ...
Surrey

Surrey  

The meaning of the name—Suth‐rige—as the land or region of the south people prompts the suggestion that the area may have formed part, in the early Saxon period, of a larger kingdom with Middlesex or ...
Sussex

Sussex  

Sussex, the land of the South Saxons, was one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to be established, but the heavily forested weald to the north made expansion difficult. It also offered some ...
Westmorland

Westmorland  

Was one of the smaller counties, about 40 miles from Stainmore in the east to Bowfell in the west. The greater part was fell country and the market towns—Appleby, Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale, and Kirkby ...
Wiltshire

Wiltshire  

Is one of the larger counties, more than 50 miles from north to south. It is not easy to perceive much geographical coherence and the balance of the county has constantly changed. The northern towns ...
Yorkshire

Yorkshire  

The largest county in England, is bounded to the south by the Humber (which formed part of the ancient dividing line between northern and southern England), to the north by the Tees, and extends ...

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